Aly and JJ

Aly and JJ's Engagement in Orlando, Florida

How We Met

I met JJ in the 6th grade on the first day of school outside of Mr. Thomas’ classroom. I thought that JJ was the goofiest kid and he loved to play basketball, which I did too, so that’s something that we bonded over. JJ always tells me that he loved how easy-going I was for being a girl, how I always made fun of him (still do), and that I shared the same passion as him, basketball. I always used to see JJ at the basketball camps in the summer and he always seemed to grab my attention. We started dating in the 8th grade for a year and I decided going into high school that I didn’t want a boyfriend. We grew apart from each other and did our own things. At the end of freshman year, I was at one of our friends’ 16th birthday dance party and I saw JJ walk in and he grabbed my attention right away. He was tall, shy, and so handsome! I asked JJ to slow dance three times and he rejected me every time, until I asked him a fourth time, he finally said yes! We danced and I asked him if he still liked me and he said, “of course”, and I was about to tell him I liked him but chickened out. The party ended and my mom picked me up and I remember her specifically asking if JJ was there, I had told her that I slow danced with him and that I still really like him but chickened out to telling him that. She told me to be honest with him and let him know, so that night I texted him (from my mom’s phone because I didn’t have a cell phone yet, awkward!) and told him that I really liked him and wanted to hang out. We spent that summer hanging out and he asked me to be his girlfriend when we were playing ping pong in his backyard, the rest is history!

how they asked

JJ’s family asked me to go on vacation with them last summer and of course I said yes! I spent the next months saving and getting excited about going on a cruise to the Caribbean. I had never been on a cruise, let alone out of the country, so I was pretty giddy about going. The time had finally come and we took a red-eye flight from Seattle to Orlando and we arrived at about 5 am in Florida and we immediately got to our resort and slept for a few hours. After we had caught up on some sleep, JJ’s two brothers and sister wanted to go to the resort water park to hang out, so we floated the lazy river and played beach volleyball out in the sun for a few hours until it was time to start getting ready for dinner. JJ’s parents told us that it was a pretty formal dinner, so we all got dressed up nice and were on our way to eat. We went to the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress Resort and walked around for a little bit. JJ’s mom and sister quickly went to the bathroom and his dad had mentioned that we only have 10 minutes until we need to meet for dinner so we can look around at what we want.

Aly's Proposal in Orlando, Florida

JJ asked if I wanted to walk down on the beach the resort had, but I kept saying no because I didn’t want to walk in the sand with my booties I had on, he eventually convinced me though. We started walking down and he started to tell me how excited he was that our four years of distance was almost over (since we had gone to different colleges for the past four years). Then JJ started to tell me that I make him want to be a better brother, a better son, and a better future husband, got down on one knee and asked me to marry him! I was so surprised and shocked, I immediately hugged him and kissed him, he then said to me “look who’s here!”. I turned and saw JJ’s family, my mom, my dad, and my sister running down the beach towards me. I started balling my eyes out (even more than I was before I saw them). JJ knew how important it was to see my parents after that moment and everything was so perfect.

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Special Thanks

Albert Harris